Cisco today unveiled a new data center architecture, services and a partner ecosystem targeted at the development of "next-generation data centers" that leverage virtualization and greater integration. Cisco's "Unified Computing System" is an architecture designed to bridge data center silos into a common architecture employing compute, network, storage access, and virtualization resources in a single system.
Cisco's Unified Computing System offerings include new Cisco UCS B-Series blade servers based on the future Intel Nehalem processor families (the next-generation Intel Xeon processor). The Cisco blades offer extended memory technology to support applications with large data sets and allow significantly more Virtual Machines per server.
The Unified Computing System also provides support for a unified fabric over a low-latency, lossless, 10 gigabit-per-second Ethernet foundation, Cisco says. This network foundation consolidates what today are three separate networks: local area networks (LANs), storage area networks (SANs) and high performance computing networks.
In addition, the vendor says, Cisco security, policy enforcement, and diagnostics features are now extended into dynamic virtualized environments. "The Virtual Machine has become the new atomic building block of the data center, creating new challenges and opportunities with the potential to transform the computing environment and deliver significant benefits," says Mario Mazzola, senior vice president of Cisco's Server Access and Virtualization Business Unit. "Taking advantage of this architectural shift in the data center, we developed a unique new computing model that transforms the data center into a dynamic IT environment with the power to increase productivity, improve business agility and drive the benefits of virtualization to an entirely new level."
The Cisco Unified Computing System also provides consolidated access to both storage area networks (SANs) and to network attached storage (NAS). Support for a unified fabric means that the Unified Computing System can access storage over Ethernet, Fibre Channel, Fibre Channel over Ethernet or iSCSI. In addition, IT staff can pre-assign storage access policies for system connectivity to storage resources, simplifying storage connectivity and management, and helping to increase IT productivity, Cisco says.
Management capabilities are also integrated into all the components of the system, enabling the solution to be managed as a single entity through the Cisco UCS Manager. The Unified Computing platform also offeres greater energy efficiency than siloed data centers, Cisco says. For more information, go here.